Individual Workout: Defensive Focus

Summer is winding down, which means our players are starting to make their way back to campus. Three of the guys in today’s workout haven’t been on campus much this summer. It’s important to begin re-acclimating these guys to the intensity of preseason and in-season practices. As a result, the focus of today’s workout was on both conditioning and defense.

1. Defensive Slides, Resistance Bands and Dribbling
We always do some sort of ball-handling to start our workouts. With today’s emphasis on defense, we simply added the resistance bands and some ball-handling to the defensive slide. Building strength and stability in the core are vital to developing the necessary quickness and speed needed to play defense.

2. Diamond Cone Defensive Shuffle
Closeouts play a huge role in our Pack Line Defense. We try to include closeouts as much as possible in our defensive drills. Work on exploding on that first change of direction step.

3. Leveling Out the Ball-Handler
Another point of emphasis in the Pack Line is to never get beat baseline. In the event the offensive player starts moving towards the baseline, it is important to level out the ball-handler to prevent straight line drives to the basket. This drill emphasizes the explosiveness needed to go from the closeout position to cutting off a driver.

Drill Explanation: After the catch, Player 2 attempts to beat the defender with a baseline drive. The defender must level the ball-handler out towards the cone. To make it competitive: if the ball-handler beats the defender and scores, the defender must do 10 push-ups. Be sure to practice on both sides of the court.

Level Out

4. Closeout, Sideline, Shot
We like to finish the workout  by rewarding the players with some shooting. However, we still want to be working on fundamental defensive skills. Emphasize closing out all the way to the ball, exploding on that first step to the sideline, and shooting with proper technique, even when tired.

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite defensive drill?

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